Durvalumab (Imfinzi)

A Medicine for Lung and Bladder Cancer

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Lung cancer and bladder cancer are respectively the 1st and 10th most common types of cancers per incidence worldwide. Durvalumab (which has the brand name Imfinzi) is an immunotherapy that treats specific types of these two cancers. It is the first immunotherapy to demonstrate significant overall survival benefit in unresectable, stage III lung cancer; and it also provides an additional option for patients who have previously received treatment for advanced bladder cancer.

The first immunotherapy to reduce the risk of death in
locally-advanced, unresectable NSCLC

Durvalumab (Imfinzi) is a medicine used for treating locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma), as well as unresectable* Stage III (locally advanced) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). It is the only immunotherapy approved for the treatment of this type of lung cancer, and the first to significantly reduce the risk of death in these patients.

* Unresectable cancers are those cancers which cannot be removed completely through surgery.

What is durvalumab (Imfinzi)?

Durvalumab (Imfinzi) is an antibody indicated for the treatment
of people with:

  • Locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma)
    • Patients who have disease progression during or following chemotherapy containing platinum;
    • Patients who have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatments* with chemotherapy containing platinum.
  • Unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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* Neoadjuvant treatments are administered before surgery with the aim of shrinking the tumor and increasing the chances of a successful surgery. Adjuvant treatments are additional cancer treatments given after the primary treatment in order to lower the risk that the cancer will come back. It may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biological therapy.

How effective is durvalumab (Imfinzi)
for NSCLC?

The approval of durvalumab (Imfinzi) for unresectable Stage III (locally advanced) NSCLC was based on a study that involved a total of 713 patients whose disease had not progressed following chemotherapy and radiation. Patients were treated for up to 12 months.

  • Durvalumab (Imfinzi) significantly improved overall survival when compared to placebo, reducing the risk of death by 32%.
  • Patients taking durvalumab (Imfinzi) lived on average 3 times longer without their disease getting worse compared to those taking the placebo: 17.2 months vs 5.6 months.

For more details refer to the prescribing information at the bottom of the page.

How effective is durvalumab (Imfinzi)
for bladder cancer?

Durvalumab (Imfinzi) was tested in a clinical trial which involved 182 patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma), whose cancer progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. The clinical study is
 still ongoing but durvalumab (Imfinzi) has already been approved with accelerated approval based on the good preliminary results from this trial.

1 out of 6 saw their tumors get smaller with durvalumab (Imfinzi).
5 out of 31 saw a complete response, while 26 patients had a partial response.
After 6 months, 45% of patients were still responding to treatment.
After 12 months, 16% of patients were still responding to treatment.

For more details refer to the prescribing information at the bottom of the page.

Which side effects can I expect
with durvalumab (Imfinzi)?

The most common side effects of durvalumab (Imfinzi) in people with bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma) include: feeling tired, nausea, muscle or bone pain, swelling of the arms and legs, constipation, urinary tract infection, decreased appetite.

The most common side effects of durvalumab (Imfinzi) in people with NSCLC include: cough, upper respiratory tract infections, tiredness, shortness of breath, inflammation in the lungs (pneumonitis), and rashes.

Please note this is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. Consult your treating doctor and the prescribing information at the bottom of the page for full details of side effects.

How is durvalumab (Imfinzi) taken?

Please note this is not intended to be a treatment plan. For a personalised treatment plan, consult your doctor. For more details, you can also reference the full prescribing information at the bottom of the page.

How does durvalumab (Imfinzi) work?

Durvalumab (Imfinzi) is an immunotherapy, which means that it uses and boosts the body’s own immune system to try and fight the cancer.

A receptor called PD-1 is found on certain cells in the immune system called T-cells or B-cells.
Cancer cells can produce proteins (PD-L1 and PD-L2) which attach to this receptor and switch off the immune system cells. This results in the weakening of the immune system.
Durvalumab (Imfinzi) has been designed to attach to a receptor called PD-1.
By attaching to the receptor, durvalumab (Imfinzi) prevents cancer cells from switching T-cells and B-cells off, thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells.

For more details about the way durvalumab (Imfinzi) works, consult your doctor or see the prescribing information at the bottom of the page. This is not intended to be a comprehensive scientific explanation.

How can I get durvalumab (Imfinzi)?

Despite advances in the treatment of cancer, it is still a reality that many of the new medicines are not available to all patients globally. Delays between approval and availability can be lengthy, and it’s not always the case that when a medicine is approved by the FDA (for example) that it will be immediately available in your country. Durvalumab (Imfinzi) is currently approved by the FDA (US), EMA (EU), TGA (Australia), and Health Canada. Please note that this medicine may have also been approved in other regions than the ones we’ve listed. If the medicine is not available where you live, we’re here to help.

With a prescription from the patient’s treating doctor TheSocialMedwork can support in ordering durvalumab (Imfinzi) from outside your country. Our team of pharmacists and regulatory experts delivers elsewhere approved medicines around the world every day. They are ready to assist with sourcing and delivery, and will guide you through every step of the process. We always advise patients to ask their health insurance about reimbursement of the medicine.

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More information about durvalumab (Imfinzi)

Need support?

If you, or one of your relatives or friends are a patient with lung or bladder cancer, you might want to ask questions about the medicine for this disease. If you’d like to ask questions about how to get durvalumab (Imfinzi), or about our service in general, our team of qualified pharmacists and experts are ready to offer support and assist with queries. Our team speaks 17 different languages and is ready to help.

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Who is TheSocialMedwork?

TheSocialMedwork makes the latest approved medicines available to patients, hospitals and doctors around the world, in a legally compliant way. We source innovative medicines at the best possible prices and ensure safe and efficient delivery. We have successfully delivered to over 88 countries worldwide, and have already supported over 11,000 doctors and patients.

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